Third Army, Fort McPherson Challenge Coin

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The Third Army was officially created November 15, 1918, just four days after the First World War Armistice was signed in Europe. It became the official American “Army of Occupation.” The Third Army’s shoulder patch, reproduced so proudly on this US Third Army challenge coin, is a large white ‘A’ on a blue background, surrounded by a red circle around the ‘A’. The original meaning was Army (white A) of Occupation (red O).

In 1932 the Third Army reorganized its forces within the continental United States, and became the best training army in the United States. As the war in Europe escalated, in 1943 the Third Army was put on alert that they would travel to England to train for the upcoming European invasion. When they docked, they were met by their new commanding general, Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr., fresh from victorious battle in North Africa and Sicily. The rest is history.

In nine months and eight days of fighting, the Third Army astonished the world; its deeds in terms of statistics challenge the imagination. General Patton’s general order was: “Seek out the enemy, trap him, and destroy him.” The soldiers worked with a purpose and courage that amazed not only the enemy but other Allied Armies. The Third Army captured more ground, freed more people, captured more enemy, and did it in a shorter time than had ever been done before. After the war, the Third Army returned to the United States to what is now Fort McPherson.

The US Third Army challenge coin salutes the bravery and courage of all soldiers who achieved legendary feats in battle. Finished in rich enamels, the front of the coin reproduces the Third Army badge, the reverse the Great Seal, surrounded by United States Army.